PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino let his complaints about the result of the Champions League loss to Real Madrid be heard in a post-match press conference.
He blames the challenge of Karim Benzema to PSG keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma on Real Madrid’s first goal of the return leg. He believes it was a clear foul and killed PSG’s momentum for the rest of the match,
“[It’s] Feeling very unfair, because of the goal conceded. It is a clear foul of Benzema to Donnarumma. The emotional state has changed, and we have been very exposed. It’s a tremendous blow, because we were better in the tie. We’ve been better in 180 minutes of football. Real Madrid, it’s true, had nothing to lose with the 1-1 and went up with everything.”
Pochettino was adamant that the press by Benzema was a foul and wasn’t hesitant in criticizing the decision, or lack thereof, of VAR. He said PSG were firmly in control of the match following Kylian Mbappe’s opening goal, but the “foul” and Benzema’s goal changed that completely.
“It is not a mistake because it is a clear foul. I’ve seen the images between 30 and 40 times, with all the cameras. It’s not a mistake by the goalkeeper, it’s a foul. Small details count and VAR has not seen a decisive foul. It is a determining factor that influenced the mood of the two teams and the stadium. We were in control of the game and the chances.”
The Argentine international talked about the painful feeling the club has been left with because of the failure to also capitalize on the chances they created during the 90 minutes.
“The disappointment is great, and we leave in pain because we had chances to score more goals.”
The goal will be controversial depending on what side of the aisle you are arguing from. This isn’t the first time PSG have blown a lead in the Champions League, this recent loss drawing shades of Barcelona’s 6-1 ‘remontada’ against the Parisians back in 2017.
The feelings coming out of PSG are of bitterness as reports of PSG sporting director Leonardo and PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi lashing out at officials followed the result. From his disappointment, it seems Pochettino hasn’t learned all that much from his time managing Tottenham either.